Saint Louis Blues (movie)

From Sajun.org

Saint Louis Blues is a 1929 two-reel short movie starring Bessie Smith. The early sound film features Smith in an African-American speakeasy of the prohibition era singing the W. C. Handy standard, "Saint Louis Blues". It is the only known film of Bessie Smith, and the soundtrack is her only recording not controlled by Columbia Records.

Bessie Smith had a hit on the song in 1925 and Handy himself asked Bessie Smith to appear in the movie. The film was a dramatization of the song, a woman left alone by her roving man. It features a band that including James P. Johnson on piano, Thomas Morris and Joe Smith on cornet, as well as the Hall Johnson Choir with some thrilling harmonies at the end.

The film has an all African-American cast. Bessie Smith co-stars with the dancer and actor Jimmy Mordecai as the boyfriend and Isabel Washington Powell as the other woman.

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A later film with the same title was a full-length biography of W.C. Handy, who is played by Nat King Cole.